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Interactive travel and history in: THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF FRANCE

By Jèrộme Sabatier

A comprehensive collection of the most beautiful and historic cities, castles and monuments in France as classified by the World Heritage Sites by the United Nations.

This travel guide details each location with maps, pricing, activities and those wonderful rare nuggets of information such as side trips and “off the beaten path” tours.  The book is written with the single traveler as well as for families with children in mind. All 29 sites are detailed on a map of France. Each given a corresponding number in the text as well as interactive map where the reader can directly contact the facility for current information. There is a full description of each site that includes full historic information, an address, phone and seasonal details. For example, the Episcopal Berbie Palace built around 1250, was constructed like a military fortress which distressed the locals.  It is one of the best-preserved palaces in the country. Because of its “domineering architecture” Berbie was not considered an aesthetic structure. However, a certain Bishop de Castanet liked the structure as he was concerned for his safety.  The Palace was built to withstand attacks from mounted armies. Sabatier does an excellent job of providing both historical and modern information for the traveler to make the visit rich and memorable for more than a photograph of an old building.

This online publication offers the traveler many convenient options such as an interactive index for each of the 29 historic sites. The index includes maps, the local tourist office, local events during certain times of year, sleeping and eating locations, sleeping and eating options at the site or nearby. The interactive option allows the reader to connect directly with all of the locations on the map. The program connects to the Web site with an address and locations as well as weather, events and availability. While being an electronic book with the usability in being able to connect directly with a specified location, the navigation of the book is cumbersome. There is no easy way to return to a previous spot in the book without scrolling up and down. Even with that limitation, THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF FRANCE is an excellent example of use of the Internet to make connecting that much easier.

THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF FRANCE functions very well as a history book and as a useable guide for those who are looking for comprehensive information about the castles and palaces of France.